K. Kamaraj

K. Kamaraj was a leader of the INC, who was acknowledged as the 'Kingmaker' in Indian politics during the 1960s.

Updated: June 16, 2022

K. Kamaraj was a leader of the INC, who was acknowledged as the 'Kingmaker' in Indian politics during the 1960s. He served as INC president for two terms i.e. four years between 1964-1967 and was responsible for the elevation of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of Prime Minister of India after Nehru's death and Indira Gandhi after Shastri's death.


Kamaraj was the 3rd Chief Minister of Madras State (Tamil Nadu) during 1954–1963. He played a major role in developing the infrastructure of the Madras state and  was responsible for bringing free education to the disadvantaged and introduced the free Midday Meal Scheme. He was awarded with India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, posthumously in 1976. He was born on July 15th, 1903 and died on October 2nd, 1975. 


Childhood of K. Kamaraj:

Kumaraswami Kamaraj was born on July 15, 1903 at Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu to Kumaraswamy and Sivakamiv Ammaiar. His father was a merchant. He had a younger sister Nagammal. 


Education of K. Kamaraj:

In 1907, Kamaraj enrolled at a traditional school. The following year, he enrolled at the Yenadhi Narayana Vidhya Salai but after a year of studies he shifted to Virudupatti High School. When he was merely six, his father died and his mother was forced to support her family. To help his mother, Kamaraj dropped out of school in 1914 to support his family.


Family of K. Kamaraj:

He did not marry, did not own any property and was never tempted by power. When he died, he left behind 130 rupees, 2 pairs of sandals, 4 shirts, 4 dhotis and a few books.


Some facts about K. Kamaraj:

  • The 1919 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was a turning point in Kamaraj's life. The killing of innocent people instigated a rage of fury and passion in Kamaraj who decided to work actively in India's struggle for freedom and bring an end to British Raj.
  • As a political activist, he participated in many events as a part of the Non-Violent Movement including the Nagpur Flag Satyagraha, Sword Satyagraha, Neil Statue Satyagraha and so on. After joining the Congress, he participated in almost all agitations and demonstrations against the British rule.
  • Under his governance, Madras became one of the best administered states of the country.
  • He emphasized on educational reforms, introducing free compulsory education. He established new schools and introduced the concept of midday meal scheme under which lakhs of poor and deprived children were provided food. He also tried to get rid of caste and creed differences.
  • Irrigation and industry also prospered and grew under his three-consecutive term governance.
  • Kamaraj breathed his last on October 2nd, 1975 in his sleep. He was 72 years of age.
  • He was proclaimed with the title of 'Kalvi Thanthai' or Father of Education in Tamil Nadu.
  • Chennai airport named its domestic terminal 'Kamaraj Terminal'.
  • A university in Madurai was inaugurated under his name, Madurai Kamaraj University, honouring his educational policies as the CM of Madras.
  • Chennai's beach road bears the name 'Kamarajar Salai'. Bangalore's North Parade Road and Parliament road in New Delhi were renamed 'K. Kamaraj Road'.



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